Madison protests cost WI taxpayers millions
posted at 3:35 pm on April 20, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
The tab to keep Madison operating through the weeks of union attempts to shut down the legislature has yet to be calculated entirely, but it has already run into the millions, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The bill from the Department of Natural Resources alone for its personnel topped $350,000, and the parking tab for police to park their vehicles approached $100,000:
The state Department of Administration is still tallying up the expenses run up by law enforcement agencies and other departments during the weeks of protests at the Capitol.
For many days on end, there were hundreds of law enforcement officers on duty inside and outside the building. The cost of policing is already in the millions of dollars. …
The spokeswoman provided some details on two contracts. One involved a contract worth as much as $2 million to provide miscellaneous services, including food, to county and municipal law enforcement and support staff.
When these final costs get tallied, Republicans should send the bill to the fleebagging Democratic Senators. They drew out the drama for weeks by fleeing the state, trying to help the unions push Republicans into folding. The extended absence forced the state to keep police and other resources bolstered in order to protect the legislature. Had the Democrats accepted the results of the last election and participated in the actual process of governing rather than holding it hostage in an attempt to gain minority rule, the state could have saved itself millions of dollars — and no small amount of embarrassment.
By the way, today is the deadline for JoAnne Kloppenburg to decide on a recount in the election that followed. So far her campaign has remained mum on whether she plans to challenge the election results, but the state’s election board signed off on the results from Waukesha County late yesterday, putting to rest one controversy from the election:
The state’s top election watchdog agency announced Tuesday that it has satisfied itself that results certified by Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus for the April 5 election are consistent with totals reported by municipalities, though “a few anomalies” were found in a four-day investigation.
Those discrepancies involved only a handful of votes.
“After completing the review of the election materials from Waukesha County, there were some discrepancies found in the Government Accountability Board’s evaluation of the Waukesha County election returns that could not be explained based upon the documentation reviewed,” the board staff said in a statement.
Kloppenburg won’t have to pay for a recount, since the margin of victory — 7,313 votes — falls just barely below the 0.5% threshold for a state-funded recount, if requested. Kloppenburg will have to decide whether to stick Wisconsin taxpayers with an even bigger bill on behalf of the sore losers that have now failed spectacularly twice in the past three months. Given the amount of votes she would have to make up, a recount would make for a hat trick of failure.